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Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Pursh) H. Wendland & Drude. Needle Palm, Blue Palmetto. Hab: Moist to wet soils of small blackwater stream swamps, especially where underlain with coquina limestone ("marl"), hydric hammocks and rich, wetland-upland transitions. Dist: Se. SC (Beaufort and Jasper counties) south to c. peninsular FL, and west to s. MS. Becoming somewhat popular as a hardy palm that can be grown in the Southeast, well north of its natural range. As a result, records of it naturalizing northwards should be anticipated; reported for the mountains of TN (J. Shaw., 2020, iNaturalist and pers.comm.)

ID notes: The base of the petioles and inflorescences of this species are conspicuously sheathed (ground-level).

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Synonymy: = FNA22, GW1, K1, K3, K4, S, S13, WH3, Zona (1997); = n/a – RAB

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW

Heliophily ?: 4

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Rhapidophyllum hystrix, and Sabal minor, Oconee River Floodplain, Riverbend Wildlife Management Area, Laurens County, Georgia 1 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷

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